With more and more people using Smartphones, devising a mobile strategy has become a priority for many businesses in 2013. Furthermore, statistics show that in 2016, mobile usage trends are expected to be almost 13 times greater than they are today.
However, many companies have not yet identified the potential of mobile apps and how these can strengthen your brand image, increase brand loyalty and attract new customers.
On the other hand, some businesses try to make the most of the increased usage of mobile technologies and attempt to boost sales by creating mobile apps and mobile optimised themes to cater for mobile savvy users.
These practical examples are just the tip of the iceberg of how mobile can grow business.
IKEA catalogue app
IKEA’s catalogue has been published for over 62 years and is considered as one of the world’s oldest direct marketing publications. To provide a superior experience for mobile users, IKEA used augmented reality and image recognition features to create a mobile app. The app used augmented reality image recognition features that scanned through the hard copy catalogue and showed additional content on customers’ mobile devices.By unlocking additional content, IKEA enhanced and extended their catalogue experience for mobile users.
The success of this operation has been immense: This app was the most downloaded marketing app in 2012.Customers using this app spent around eight minutes interacting with it, which is substantially higher to the three minutes average they generally spend flipping through the traditional hard copy catalogue.
Starbucks – Responsive website design and meeting mobile needs through apps
Starbucks identified a growing trend in the number of visitors that were accessing their site using a mobile device. This is why they decided to move to a responsive website design that would allow their website to be compatible with various platforms and devices.
Moreover, Starbucks wanted to actively participate in the mobile payment revolution, and thus created their own mobile app; ‘Square wallet’. This app links directly to the customer’s credit or debit card and allows them to use their phone to pay at any Starbucks stores or any other Starbucks authorised businesses. This app also allows its users to manage digital receipts and turns their phone into their own mobile wallet!
The Co-operative Insurance smartphone app for young drivers
This mobile campaign uses GPS data to measure speed, cornering, acceleration and breaking by using a device that is fitted to cars to record their driving behavior. The app scores each journey from 1 to 5 and aims at increasing awareness amongst co-operative’s young drivers.
Amy Kilmartin, Young Driver Insurance Manager at The Co-operative, explains: “This is a ‘try before you buy’ app aimed at 17 to 25 year old who may have heard of ‘Smart box’ or ‘telematics’ insurance but aren’t sure if it’s right for them”.
- The app was downloaded over 1100 times in the first week of activity. This exceeded the target (100 per week) by over 1000%
- The app was downloaded over 3500 times in the first 4 weeks of activity.
- The original target cost per download (CPD) was £31.88 and in the first four weeks a CPD of £0.91 was achieved.
Note: cost per download (CPD) = total cost of developing the app/ number of times that app was downloaded. The lower the CPD the higher the return of investment on the app.
Some businesses can build a competitive advantage by having a mobile app. However, while apps can be a great marketing opportunity, they have to be part of a strategy. If you come out with an app that does nothing but try to sell your products, then it will probably fail. In this case, people would just be annoyed and you will lose out on the opportunity to engage your potential customers.
In order to be successful, you need to know your business well and identify the type of app that can be useful for your customers. It is important that your app adds value to your services or products to ensure that people use it and happily suggest it to their family and friends.